Best Albums 2015: Joanna Newsom - 'Divers'
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 08:33:04
Joanna Newsom Videos
Joanna Newsom spent over a year on arrangements and overdubs alone for Divers (Drag City), her fourth studio album, which features a wide variety of collaborators, including the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. With colorful characters and intricate arrangements, Divers is an elegantly constructed record that matches classical instrumentation alongside modern elements, creating a sound that is as unique as it is harmonious. She covers everything from baroque to the blues in an attempt to understand the ever-ticking clock.
It's an album about love and death, and hence time, and Newsom can be found playing her signature harp throughout much of the album, though she also makes appearances on the keyboard. Despite the plethora of instruments used throughout, it's Newsom's voice that pervades, and her fantastical lyrics and settings that provide depth. On the first line of the album's second track, "Sapokanikan", she speaks of Ozymandias, knowing that no matter how great, all things must come to an end. It's a rather depressing view on love and time to sort through, but Newsom does, and by the end of the album she sings, "And it pains me to say, I was wrong, love is not a symptom of time, time is just a symptom of love." She has finally come to terms with joy, love, and everything's eventual death.
Divers was released to almost universal critical acclaim, and was the first of her albums to reach the Top 10 in the UK. She also reached the Top 30 on the US charts, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Watch "Sapokanikan" from Joanna Newson:
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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